West Vancouver independent school cancels classes over coronavirus concerns

Mar 10 2020, 8:34 am

A West Vancouver independent school has closed both of its campuses and issued an early Spring Break following concerns that at least one individual with a connection to the school has contracted COVID-19.

In a letter sent to the school community on Monday, Head of School Lisa Evans says administration became aware that “a close contact” to a family at Collingwood School has tested positive for coronavirus.

Evans clarified that this is not “a student, family member, or staff member.”

“While Vancouver Coastal Health’s regional communicable disease control advises the risk is limited, we have made the decision to close the school early for Spring Break out of an abundance of caution,” she wrote.

While there is “no reason to believe the family connected to this case has been infected,” Evans says the school “wanted to act quickly to safeguard our community.”

In the coming days, the school will be deep cleaning both of its campuses with a Clorox Bleach treatment. Classes will resume on March 30.

The school closure will also apply to all sporting events, special events, and clubs for the remainder of the week.

In response to Collingwood’s closure, the West Vancouver School District says it continues to “take direction from our local and provincial health authorities who still deem the risk as low in British Columbia.”

Currently, the remainder of schools in the district will remain open for the rest of the week.

Two schools in Surrey have also issued coronavirus advisories.

In a letter, Sullivan Heights Secondary says the person identified “was asymptomatic during their time at the school; therefore, the risk to the school population is minimal.”

There is “no evidence that novel coronavirus is transmitted via asymptomatic individuals and the risk is low for the staff and students at Sullivan Heights.”

The letter comes at the same time that it was confirmed a person diagnosed with coronavirus was in the gym of Serpentine Heights Elementary school in Surrey over the weekend, as part of a community event.

On Monday, Canada’s first coronavirus-related death was confirmed in BC.